A five-day lull in deaths in police firings in Kashmir was shattered on Monday with three persons, including a school student, being killed in Baramulla district.
With this, the number of people killed in police action in 87 days since June 11 rose to 69.
While the police claimed firing took place to quell stone-throwing protesters in Pattan town, 30 km from Srinagar, locals said the firing was unprovoked.
"People were busy shopping in a market. Suddenly the police personnel nearby fired at people buying grocery and chicken, fearing they were protesters," an eyewitness told Hindustan Times.
Among those killed on Monday was Class 10 student Feroz Ahmad Malik.
His father Abdul Aziz Malik said Feroz had gone out of the house to buy chicken with the words, 'we will offer prayers together tonight'. He didn't make it back home.
A police spokesperson, however, denied the allegation.
"Around 2.30 pm, large groups of stone-throwing protesters attacked the traffic and security force vehicles at Palhalan in Pattan and Singhpora," he said.
But he admitted, "Senior police officers have taken a serious view of the firing. An enquiry has been initiated."
Inspector General (Kashmir Range) S M Sahai refused to speak to HT, saying he was busy.